While riding a bicycle can be a cost effective and healthy alternative to driving, bicycle accidents do happen. If you or a loved one were injured by a car while riding your bicycle, contact an attorney before anything else to protect your rights. Car insurance can cover you should you have been hit, yet, insurance companies will try to settle for the least amount they can and shortchange you on the settlement you deserve. At Spivak & Sakellariou, we are dedicated personal injury attorneys that focus on bicycle accident injury law. A bicycle accident lawyer will help make sure you take the right steps following your accident to avoid being taken advantage of.
Kentucky Bicycle Laws
According to the 2020, Kentucky Traffic Records and Reports, collisions with pedal cyclists made up a whopping 33% of all traffic collisions in the state of Kentucky. Not only that, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported an increase of 50% in cyclist fatalities from 2011 to 2020.
As the statistics show, a bicycle accident injury is increasingly common. While we hope that you never find yourself in an accident, if you do, there are a few important laws about cycling in Kentucky to keep in mind.
A Bicycle is Viewed as a Vehicle
Kentucky law dictates that a bicycle is the same thing as a vehicle. Thus, cyclists must follow the rules of the road as if they were driving a car.
Cyclists Must Always Keep to the Right of Cars
To ensure safety, it is imperative that cyclists stay to the right of moving vehicles. However, there are a few exceptions where a bicyclist can ride to the left of cars. These exceptions include:
- Preparing and executing a left turn
- Passing a slower moving vehicle
- If not in designated lane, the cyclist can ride to the left to prevent vehicles from attempting to overtake them in the lane
- To avoid potential conflicts with right turning vehicles
- It is necessary to avoid a hazard
Cyclists Are Allowed to Ride on the Sidewalk
Cyclists should utilize the sidewalk while maintaining awareness of pedestrians. However, if riding on the sidewalk, cyclists also must:
- Slow to the speed of an ordinary walk
- Not abruptly leave the sidewalk or move into the path of an oncoming vehicle
- Yield to pedestrians
Fault in Kentucky
If you’ve been injured in a cycling accident you may be wondering if you can make a bike accident injury claim. Luckily, bicycle accident insurance settlements are provided even when the victim has been proven to be partially at fault for the incident. This is thanks to Kentucky law mandating personal injury protection insurance while employing a pure comparative fault system.
Personal Injury Protection
Between drivers and bicyclists in Kentucky, the driver is the only partly responsible for carrying personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. Due to this, if you have been hit by a car while cycling and sustained a bicycle accident injury you should contact a personal injury attorney to file a claim with the driver’s insurance company. Your bicycle accident lawyer will work with you to fight for your right to just compensation.
Pure Comparative Fault
Because Kentucky utilizes a pure comparative fault system the driver’s insurance company will attempt to prove that you have a higher percentage of fault then the driver for your accident.
This is because of pure comparative fault, which assigns the total settlement to victim based off of their perceived percentage of fault.
For example, if you were riding your bike and made an improper left turn that resulted in you being hit by a distracted driver then both you and the driver were at fault. Your personal injury attorney would work with you to receive the proper compensation from the insurance company.
If the total settlement was determined to be $100,000, and you were observed to be 25% at fault, you would then be awarded $75,000. The deduction of 25% from the $100,000 is due to your being 25% at fault for the accident.
How We Can Help
When you call our office, you’ll get a free consultation. During that conversation, we’ll review the facts of your case, get to know you and your family, and determine how we can best help you get what you are owed. Every case is different, just as every family is different. We will tailor a service that best matches your needs, your goals, and your unique circumstances.
When you make bicycle accident insurance claim, there are two likely routes your case will go down
Many of these types of cases are settled out of court with insurance companies. Those that aren’t, go to court. Not only are the partners at Spivak and Sakelleriou skilled and experienced negotiators, but we are also trial lawyers with decades of experience between us.
You can feel confident with us either in the conference room or the courthouse. Our approach is simple, we take the time to listen to every client’s unique needs. We believe that individual attention and deep empathy help empower us to get the best results for everyone that walks through our doors.
We understand that nobody wants to be the victim of a bicycle accident. It can be a very difficult time. Our goal is to help you navigate those unpleasant waters to help you get what you deserve and move on with your life without the unfair financial burdens that can make it difficult to do that.
Insurance companies and adjusters are masters at negotiation. It pays for them to pay out as little as possible and they spend a lot of time and money ensuring that they are positioned to do just that.